APC, PDP, Nigerians react as INEC postponed elections

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Following the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that postponement was premeditated to enable President Muhammadu Buhari cling to power against the wishes of Nigerians.

INEC had in the early hours of Saturday, 16 February announced the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections set to commence in few hours.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, described the development as unexpected and a grand plot by the All Progressives Congress to thwart the will of the people.

In a statement by the Media aide to the PDP chairman, Ike Abonyi, he said that the postponement has exposed the failures of the electoral body while calling for the immediate resignation of the INEC chairman.

“With several of their rigging options failing, they have to force INEC to agree to a shift in the election or a staggered election with flimsy excuses pre-manufactured for the purpose.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP sees this action as wicked as we are also aware of other dubious designs, like the deployment of hooded security operatives who would be ruthless to the people, ostensibly to scare them away,” Secondus said.

The Presidential elections  according to INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, is to hold next Saturday, 23,  February  while the governorship, state assemblies and the FCT area councils elections shifted to March 9, 2019.

Yakubu said that the commission was forced to postpone due to issues with logistics and operational plans.

“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plans and its determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible,” he said.

However the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) through the spokesperson of the Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo said that the postponement is a huge disappointment to the nation and the world.

“The news is therefore a huge disappointment to us and to our teeming supporters nationwide and around the world, many of whom have come into the country to exercise their franchise.

“We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible. President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it.

“We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process as the rumor mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition, the PDP that was never ready for this election.

“We note that all the major credible demographic projections have predicted a defeat of the PDP and it seriously needed this breather to orchestrate more devious strategies to try and halt President Buhari’s momentum.

“It did the same as the ruling Party in 2015, when it realized the game was up, by orchestrating the postponement of the 2015 elections by six weeks,” he said.

Keyamo urged Nigerians and the supporters of the party to be patient, remain calm and resolute in spite what he described as “temporary setback”.

“Let us not give anyone, especially the PDP, the opportunity to plunge this nation into crises, which is what they earnestly desire. Its imminent defeat is just a few days away,” he said.

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